tv BBC World News PBS February 13, 2012 5:00am-5:30am EST
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>> and now, bbc world news. >> after a night of clashes, greece is braced for cuts in pay, pensions, and jobs after parliament approved tough new austerity measures. the russian foreign minister says a halt to violence in syria should precede the deployment of a u.n. peacekeeping mission. pakistan's prime minister appears before the supreme court to deny charges of contempt. welcome to "bbc world news." i'm geeta guru-murthy. also in this program -- the l.a. corps nor says foul play is not suspected in the death of singer whitney houston. and a man goes on trial in indonesia accused of making the bali bombs that killed more than 200 people. >> greeks are braced for more
cuts after the country's parliament approved a tough new round of austerity measures. the government says the plan will stave off bankruptcy and keep the heavily indebted country in the eurozone. but in athens and other cities, there are violent clashes between police and thousands of protesters. shops were looted and buildings set on fire. daniel griffiths reports. >> as the politicians debated, athens burned. cinemas, shops, cafes and banks all set on fire. earlier outside the parliament, police and rioters clashed. most protesters have been peaceful. but this violence, a sign of the anger felt by many about the scale of the austerity measures. and inside the parliament, passions were also running high, with many unhappy about having to agree to more cuts,
after hours of debate, the measures finally passed, but not before this stark warning from the greek finance minister . everyone must realize, he said, that the dilemma is whether we'll save the country with great sacrifices or if instead we'll march towards catastrophe. to get another bailout from the eurozone worth 130 billion euros, the greek parliament was told it had to pass another austerity package containing 3.3 billion worth of cuts. the public sector jobs, pensions, and the minimum wage. greece needs money before march 20 to meet debt repayments of 14.5 billion euros or it will go bankrupt. but greece is already in recession, with no recovery in sight and no sign either that many greeks support this strategy to keep the country
afloat and in the eurozone. dan grell griffiths, bbc news. our miriam is here now for a little bit more on the greece question. i mean, these austerity measures have been voted through. they've now got to be agreed on politically. >> the problem here is the markets are looking at the deal. they like the fact that it's gone through, but there are still hurdles. there's some parts of the coalition government which are saying that, after the elections, they won't be accepting what's going on. also, it's the bond writedown of debt that we're waiting for. let's take a look at what their markets are doing in terms of the specifics stocks. as for the reaction is right now, the london market up nearly 1% in germany and in france and italy, the markets are pretty high. now, the markets are looking at this deal, and they're thinking, well, of course, finance ministers are meeting on wednesday to ratify it, but they hope this is the first step that greece is going to make towards finally filtering out this problem. >> and in japan today --
>> well, we have news on the japanese economy. it shrunk by 2.3% in the fourth quarter. why? well, its exports have been hit. they're very much reliant on the export economy. demand from the eurozone has been weighing on it because of the recession. that's one thing that hit the japanese economy. ministers are pretty optimistic. what they're saying is the construction sector, which they believe will help kick-start the economy, will start having an impact in 2012. so, some bad news for japan, but not unexpected. >> miriam, thanks very much indeed. pakistan's prime minister, yousuf raza gilani, has been charged with contempt in islamabad. he pleaded not guilty. he was indicted for refusing to reopen corruption cases against president zardari. mr. gilani argues the president has immunity from prosecution. if convicted, the prime minister could be jailed for up to six months and, of course, lose his office. our correspondent, aleem maqbool, was there and told us what happened in court. >> the crisis is continuing and
is set to continue for some time yet. but the prime minister appeared in court, in the supreme court, behind me for about an hour or so. things went pretty much as expected. he was indicted, charged with contempt, and as expected, he entered a plea of not guilty. this all centers around a judgment that the supreme court made a couple of years ago. then it ordered the prime minister to send a letter to the swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against the president, asif ali zardari. he hasn't done that, and that's why these proceedings have begun. >> and how long is it going to take to resolve this? mr. gilani hoping to stay in his position whilst he fights his case. >> well, it is very difficult to say how long it will take, but the defense the team will get a chance to put their case forward at the end of this month. they will argue that the prime minister was in the right, because he believed he had legal advice to say the
president enjoyed immunity. so there's no point in writing that letter and getting those cases reopened against the president. but the supreme court is still pretty much entrenched, both sides are pretty much entrenched. it's difficult to see how either side will back down. so we can still see potentially a day where he is convicted, the prime minister, and he could, as you say, get a jail term. he would certainly lose his job or he would be asked to step down if he was convicted. but this wrangle goes on. while it does, there are real concerns in pakistan about what's going on in terms of the business of actually governing this country. >> aleem maqbool in islamabad. russia's foreign minister says a proposed new joint u.n.-arab league peacekeeping mission in syria could only happen after a halt to the violence there. he was speaking in moscow after meeting with his counterpart from the united arab emirates. russia and china vetoed the resolution at the u.n. security council, saying the resolution
could lead to foreign intervention and regime change. joining me now is our correspondent, nick chiles. we've just seen this news conference. what die interpret by russia's statement, trying to block as much as possible? >> i think they're still being very cautious. at the same time, the russian foreign minister was trying to be polite. he said we'll look at the proposal, but we need more details. and frankly, there are a lot more details that need to be flushed out on this new plan. but it's clear the arab league has come out from their meeting with tough, new language and this proposal for a joint arab league-u.n. peacekeeping force for syria, in order to try to keep up the diplomatic pressure, as you say. the russians and the chinese vetoed the last arab league plan at the u.n. security council, but that got a lot of criticism internationally. since then, there's been a lot of focus on the violence that we were reporting on all last week in homs. so i think that there is still an effort to try and maintain the diplomatic pressure, and
clearly the russians will need to be a part of any of that process. >> the u.n. tried to keep up the pressure. but in reality, what can be achieved? >> well, i think it is, if you like, a sense of the arab league and other diplomats, western countries regrouping after the security council veto, and if you like, trying to re-establish the pressure and re-establish the credentials for diplomatic pressure. so, yes, you have the human rights report at the u.n. general assembly. the arab league will re-introduce its resolution in the general assembly. less weight than the security council, but a way of testing the mood, if you like, and it can't be vetoed. and all these things together, perhaps they hope it will get at least moscow and perhaps beijing to have a pause for thought to some extent. >> nick chiles, thanks very much indeed. the los angeles coroner has
said that foul play is not suspected in the death of whitney houston, who was found death in a bath saturday afternoon. the grammys turned into an impromptu memorial for the singer with stars at the music awards ceremony paying their tributes. >> ll cool j. >> it's an annual celebration of the biggest names in music, but this year, the grammys started on a somber note. host ll cool j began with a tribute to whitney houston. >> there is no way around this. we've had a death in our family. the only thing that feels right is to begin with a prayer. heavenly father, we thank you for sharing our sister, whitney, with us. today our thoughts are with her mother, her daughter, and all of her loved ones. >> one of her most famous grammy performances was played. >> ♪ i will always ♪ >> the coroner said it would be weeks before we know how whitney houston died.
but the show had to go on, and british sensation adele swept the board. >> ♪ you had my heart inside your hand ♪ >> it's the first live performance since throat surgery, and her voice was as powerful as ever. >> ♪ you played me to the deep ♪ >> she took six awards, including best album, record, and song. >> hello! i just wanted to say, mom! >> and there was a special performance from jennifer hudson remembering whitney houston. >> well, i spoke to our correspondent also in l.a. with the latest on houston's daughter, who's been treated in hospital over the weekend.
>> she was in the hospital for a few hours. she was taken on sunday morning, we understand, from the same hotel where her mother died the previous day. we weren't given many details, but we understand that she was suffering simply from the stress of what had been happening for the previous 24 hours. >> and the coroner, a few more details, or any details from the police on this? >> no details from the police, but the coroner did give a news conference, ironically and sadly, it was a news conference that happened at exactly the same time as the grammys were starting, where many tributes were paid to whitney houston. the coroner said he wasn't in a position to give any details from the post-mortem examination of whitney houston's body, other than to say there were no signs of any foul play at this time. but reserving judgment on the eventual cause of death. there will be more toxicology tests over the next few weeks. we know from previous cases like this -- for example, michael jackson, who died in
unusual circumstances, it took a long time before the authorities in los angeles officially revealed the cause of death. i suspect it could be similar in this case. aurp peter boweks there in l.a. it is the awards season. much more to come here. "the iron lady" finds her prince charming, a gallant rescue after a bit of a wardrobe malfunction at the baftas. now, venezuelans have elected a state governor, hen reek capriles, to stand against president hugo chavez in october. the previously divided opposition now hopes to mount a serious challenge to mr. chavez, who's been in power for 13 years. mr. capriles, a governor, won 2/3 of the vote. authorities say they've captured the leader of what remains of the shining path rebel group. the man known as comrade artemio was wounded in a remote part of the jungle. the president said his capture marked the defeat of the
shining path in the center of cocaine production. in australia, aboriginal groups have welcomed the possibility that crock -- crocodile hunting might be allowed. they say it would bring jobs and increase the level of tourism in remote parts of australia, plus, it would curb the booming crocodile population. the creatures are increasingly venturing into urban areas. well, there is some controversy about the suggestion. this is "bbc world news." i'm geeta guru-murthy. the headlines for you -- protesters battle police on the streets of the greek capital, as parliament passes the latest austerity package. and the russian foreign minister gives qualified support for the deployment of u.n. peacekeepers in syria. now, a suspected muslim militant has gone on trial in indonesia for his role in the 2002 bali bomb attacks. umar patek, thought to be a key figure in jemaah islamiah, is
accused of making the bombs which killed more than 200 people. karishma vaswani's report does contain flash photography. >> inside this armored car is one of the indonesia's most wanted men. umar patek is accused of assembling the bomb. he's facing six charges for his alleged crimes. dressed all in white and court this monday, mr. patek seemed relaxed and unperturbed as the charges against him are read out. prosecutors are asking for the maximum punishment mr. patek is faces charges for his alleged role in the jakarta church bombings of 2000, which killed at least 19 people. but it was the bali blast that propelled him to infamy. he's thought to assembled the devices for the attacks. they were the worst ever on indonesian soil, killing more
than 200 people. mr. patek is thought to be one of the last high-profile members of the group behind the blast. bringing umar patek's trial is being seen as a significant victory for indonesia's anti-terrorist forces. they've been searching for him for years. but analysts say it's unlikely that this trial will mean a lot for indonesia's fight. there's a new strain of militancy in this country, they say, and although the apparent seems to be the same. the targets are no longer necessarily foreign and often a local officials are minorities instead. karishma vaswani, bbc news, jakarta. >> a european union envoy has announced more aid for burma and the prospect of a further easing of sanctions following talks with its leaders. the european development commissioner, who's been holding talks with burmese leaders, announced an aid package of nearly $200 million and health education and basic infrastructure. our correspondent, rachel harvey, is traveling with the commissioner and looked at the
significance of the visit. >> well, i think that the number of v.i.p.'s that have come through shows the extent to which it is generating interest around the world. everybody is now beating a path to burma's door. everybody wants to get their own take on the reform process that's underway here. so yes, in that sense, it is important. he's the most senior figure from the european union to come here, and he's been given access to all within the burmese government. he started off with a meeting with a powerful speaker of parliament, then went into parliament itself to get a view of what is, in essence, an embryonic democracy here in action. it's not perfect. nobody's claiming that it is. but it's taking steps in the right direction, and that is precisely why people like him are coming here. he then went on to say the president had an hour with the german development minister as well, just three of them in the room with their own private delegations. they say that was pretty substantive talks. they covered a lot of political ground, as well as development issues. >> so, what is burma hoping to
get out of this changing? does it seem as though it is genuine change? because we've seen, of course, protesters, even last week, saying they don't believe this reform is genuine. >> well, there was one outspoken monk who says he doesn't believe the reform is genuine, but you're right, there are several other voices, particularly those in exile, who are still skeptical. but the number of dignitaries that are coming from countries that have imposed sanctions on burma, coming to say they want to support this reform process, they want to maintain the momentum of change, that signifies that those countries who were most critical of burma are now beginning to sit up and take notice that there has been change here, and they want to ensure that change continues in what they would consider to be a positive direction. now, there are still key tests along the way, not least, the elections coming up on april 1. that is being set by almost dignitary that comes here now to be the next key moment that
they will look to. if the process is clean and free and fair, if the election itself is free and fair, then possibly there could be more rewards to come. >> rachel harvey from inside burma. now, in helmand province, afghan forces have, for the first time, started operations against the taliban. it comes as the international forces discuss accelerating the handover of security. the bbc's been given access to one of the first big missions entirely planned and executed by the afghan army. british chiefs are only supposed to be advising, but as we discovered, they did most of the heavy lifting for the afghans. >> just before daybreak in northern helmand, hundreds of soldiers are on the move. this is an afghan army operation. ap down the road, blocking the convoy. >> british soldiers are in the rear. they won't be doing any of the fighting. on the ground, these british advisors are trying to get the afghan army to go it alone as
they search for the taliban. the afghan general in charge is brimming with confidence. he tells me, it our foreign friends are in the back giving us support, but we know this place better. we know the language, and only we can search the people in the houses, not foreigners. it doesn't go too badly for the general. his neighbor helped by the fact that there aren't many taliban around. most have disappeared for the winter. this is supposed to be an afghan operation, but these so-called british advisors are doing a lot more than just advising. they're still performing the most essential tasks. here, they're recovering a vehicle hit by a taliban bomb, but they're stopped in their tracks by another suspected device. leaving the safety of their armored truck, they inch closer, reaching out to clear the path. after a tense hour and a half, the bomb is revealed as a
decoy. and compare these flimsy afghan army pickups, easy for the taliban to target, to this british jackal. it's far deadlier and more difficult to destroy. >> lowest tactical level, they're very good. when it comes to a fight, they are absolutely up for it. it's the bigger pieces now. it's ensuring that they've got the capability to service all their vehicles and get the spares up and running, the logistics up and running, to keep what is actually a huge army on the road and in the fight. >> much is being asked of afghan security forces. britain wants to speed up the handover, allowing its troops to drawback sooner. but if that transfer comes too early, it runs the risk of afghan forces being overwhelmed. >> the africa cup has finally ended, an emotional victory for
the winners. >> yeah, very excited scene in zambia, because they won this match against the ivory coast. dramatic game, 0-0, dragba, extra time and penalties, and zambia won by eight goals to seven. but more importantly for the coach, he was invoking the spirit of 1993, because they lost 18 players in a plane crash in the same location. so, in more senses of the word, it was a great victory, both sporting and also on an emotional level. we can hear from the coach now. >> i often said it. i don't think we're the best, but i do think that we had a great driving force this competition, which made all the difference. so we had the success, too. i think that in order to win the african cup, you need to have success. so, everything turned out really well for us. >> indeed. that was the coach, who has really inspired his team, because it has to be said they
weren't favorites going into this match. but as we've seen many times in football, almost anything can happen. as you can imagine, great scenes in zambia, even better scenes we expect to see later when the players go back home. >> the whole thing is seen as a success, the tournament? >> superb success. it's every two years, it's normally done so well, and it's very entertaining. >> thanks very much indeed t. may be a silent movie, but all the talk was about "the artist" at this year's british academy of film awards in london. it took seven awards, including best film, best director, and best actor. best actress went to meryl streep for her portrayal of margaret thatcher in "the iron lady." just to warn you, this report does have flash photography. >> it might be a night where the main focus is on celebrating movies, but it's also an event where fashion can be almost as important as film making. the stars selecting their outfits with as much care as they choose their movie roles. this year, one theme was
wearing something green on the red carpet. among the ecofriendly film stars, colin firth, who's suit was made from sustainable material, and "the help" star viola davis' dress, a pink valentine owe gown made using recycled plastic bottles. the big winner film-wise on the night was "the artist." it picked up seven awards. among them, best film and best actor, who paid tribute to some of britain's past heroes. >> to receive this award from the country of sir lawrence olivier, william webb ellis. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. >> the black and white silent movie has had much to shout about over the past few months, picking up prize after prize after prize, as well as
delighting audiences around the world. by contrast, british thriller "tinker taylor soldier spy" could only imagine two wins from 11 nominations. the film's screenwriter acknowledging his film only had a chance in categories where it wasn't competing directly with "the artist." >> i'd just like to think this for not being adapted from a book. >> and the bafta goes to meryl streep. >> for meryl streep, it was a fairy tale night, in more ways than one. with colin firth assuming the role of her prince charming when she lost her shoe on the way to collect her best actress award for playing margaret thatcher in "the iron lady." but, the night really belonged to "the artist." after tonight, the last and biggest events in the awards calendar is, of course, the
oscars. "the artist's" strong showing is sure to give it a significant boost ahead of the all-important academy awards in a few weeks' time. >> fantastic. much more, of course, at the website, bbc.com/news. more on our top story, greeks brace for more cuts in pay, pensions, and jobs after parliament has approved a tough new round of austerity measures, but the government is hoping the plan will stave off bankruptcy and keep greece inside the eurozone. plus, just to let you know, our breaking news this hour -- russia's foreign minister has said that a proceed newsed -- proposed new peacekeeping mission in syria could only happen after a halt to the violence there. he was speaking in moscow after a meeting with his counterpart from the united arab emirates. russia and china last week vetoed the resolution on syria at the u.n. security council, saying the resolution could
lead to foreign intervention and regime change. you're watching "bbc world news." >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures, and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries.